Midcounties pledges to reduce carbon emissions through sustainability programme

Plans include cutting emissions across the society’s Oxfordshire stores and running green projects in schools

The Midcounties Co-operative aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by more than 250 tonnes through a new sustainability programme.

As part of the initiative, the co-op is running a range of eco-friendly projects in Kidlington, Cotswolds, White Horse, Banbury and Bicester in May.

The Sustainable Communities programme focuses not only on reducing carbon emissions, but also engaging people in working together to be more eco-friendly.

Last month the co-op partnered with Botley School in central Oxford for a pilot project to raise awareness of local community energy and renewable energy. Midcounties plans to set up a school partnership in each area, where educational sessions will be led and students encouraged to sign up to a sustainability pledge, in order to reduce CO2 emissions by 100kg per school. The society will also work with local community energy groups to further raise awareness about community energy.

In addition, the co-op committed to reducing carbon emissions by 2% among all its trading sites in Oxfordshire, which amounts to 250 tonnes. It also intends to engage members to sign up to sustainability pledges in order to promote eco-friendly behaviour and reduce CO2 emissions by 100kg per area.

Pete Lockey, leadership team ambassador for Midcounties in Central Oxford, said: “The success of the pilot in Central Oxford shows that our Sustainable Communities project can make a lasting environmental impact within the local community, and we are looking forward to seeing this rolled out across more areas.

“As a co-operative, we’re committed to working with the communities that we operate in to create a change for the better. We have the opportunity to make a real difference by significantly reducing emissions, supporting local community energy initiatives, and educating the public about how to be more eco-friendly.

In 2016. Midcounties saved a collective 1,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions, after reducing energy usage by 4% and increasing recycling levels to 91%.

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